GREEK EDUCATION 7 assumption that society was then too primitive to require highly developed powers of oratory. But the age of the heroes was certainly not primitive, and it is equally certain that oratory did count for much, as is evident from the First Book of the Odyssey. In any case, the passage is so far true to the facts that it presents the education of Achilles as wholly practical, and suggests that a definite responsibility for the twofold training rested on the father. The arrangement in the case of Achilles is represented as an exceptional one, due to the fact that he had to be sent away from home. The presumption is that in ordinary circum- stances the father would undertake the education of the son. The second reference is also to the education of Achilles. It is mentioned incidentally that he learned the art of healing from old Cheiron the Centaur, who was credited in Greek legend with a knowledge of medicine, music, and the other arts. Again, the case is exceptional, and this time no general conclusion can be drawn, unless it be that whenever for any reason an education beyond the powers of the home was required, it was given by some man of recognized wisdom to a disciple. The essential fact of the situation was not an institution like a school, but a personal relationship between teacher and learner. This view, as we shall find, was prominent in Greek educational practice at a later time. Little as is known about education in the Homeric age, there is still less known about that of the older educational tradition. Indeed, we have no direct information here at all Nevertheless, it is possible to reconstruct the earlier conditions with some degree of assurance from what is known about the customs of other peoples about the same level of social advancement over the world* We get a starting-point in this matter in the earliest epic tradition outside the Homeric poems, as it appears in Hesiod and in the legends underlying the tragedies. In these occur elements which are obviously far more primitive than anything in the Iliad or the Qdymy : " Ceremonies of magic and purifica- tion, beast-worship, stone-worship, ghosts and anthropomorphic gods, traces of the peculiar powers of women both as l good medicine' and as titular heads of the family, and especially a most pervading and almost ubiquitous memory of human sacrifice/'* Whether, and to what extent, these survivals from * Professor Gilbert Murray, Anthropology and the Classic* (ed, R, E. Marett), p. 66.